Sunday, June 20, 2021
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Cheques Being Phased Out Will Affect Elderly, Disabled And Charities That They Support


As of 1st July 2021, most banks will no longer accept
cheques as a method to make or receive payments. This is
going to particularly affect the elderly and disabled
population as well as the charities they support. New
Zealand has an ageing population and has projected increases
for strokes of around 10% by 2028 to over 12000 strokes a
year. It is a similar outlook for Diabetes and Heart
Disease; This will leave many more people with disability
and with less access to online banking and other online
services. These people will need support.

Lee Pownall
(CEO – Stroke Central New Zealand) is calling the phasing
out of cheques ‘The Big Bounce’ and says “It is going
to affect us massively as a medium-sized charity, as our
main clients and supporters are over the age of 65 due to
the nature of strokes. Roughly 80% of our donations and
membership payment still come in via cheques and many of our
clients are not using online banking at present. This could
have a massive impact on our charity and no doubt many other
organisations with similar clients will also suffer as a
consequence.”

With this change being imminent, there
is the question of how the elderly and disabled population
will transition to other banking methods like online
banking. Grace Moulton (President – Stroke Central New
Zealand) believes that “Consideration needs to be given by
the banks to understand that elderly people are not always
internet savvy and if the banks are set on refusing payments
by cheque what alternative have they developed to assist
those senior customers. If this is already developed and in
place, then where is the promotional material to assist
those people?” Furthermore she explains that “a large
factor to consider is that as we age, we are less mobile and
more likely to suffer with medical conditions which prevent
us from taking on and accessing new systems. This step may
not only impede the senior members of our society, but the
large number of people with disabilities”.

It is
very likely that some elderly and/or disabled people in New
Zealand will be left out as of the 1st of July and there
doesn’t seem to be enough support for them to ease their
transition from using cheques to other banking
methods.

What impact this will have on charities who
are dependent on donations and membership payments will have
to be seen, but judging by the number of cheques still being
received by charities like Stroke Central New Zealand to
date, makes the future seem dauntingly uncertain.

As a
charity we do have options available, like our website
www.strokecentral.org.nz or over the phone to 0800 298 858;
but these have been available for some time and we worry
that for some we will just lose their financial
support.

© Scoop Media

 



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